Bar Hopping: MONO + MONO in New York City


116 East 4th Street

New York, NY, 10003


I like to say I have eclectic tastes in music and design. And even though it hasn’t been widely popular for a while, I have to announce a love of Jazz. It is the organized chaos element to the music that can draw you in. Jazz is like wearing a t-shirt under a custom suit jacket or putting pineapple in an Asian stir fry. Everything about jazz is unexpected, against the common rules, but somehow defies this logic and becomes the part we love most. This is why I wanted to feature one of the great Jazz Bars in New York City. (I know I’ll get flak for not putting in a Harlem bar, but I choose MONO+MONO for a specific reason)

The focus at MONO + MONO is not live jazz, but rather it is the vast Vinyl collection (Those ARE NOT books on the wall) that is the central theme. There are about 30,000 records, all played through vintage tube amplifiers the way they were originally listened to. The shelves are everywhere, and they are all full. Glass walkways serve to ensure that you always have a glimpse at the astounding collection of records.

Everything takes the Jazz idea of the unexpected to heart. The tables are pianos with what can best be described as “counters” attached to the side. The menu is an effective mix of soul, Korean, and whatever else the chefs felt like throwing in. (MONO + MONO SALAD comes with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette). This is a bar where you can feel engulfed in a totally unique atmosphere.


So the question is still “Why did I pick this bar for a Jazz bar instead of one in Harlem?” The reason is that I wanted a bar you can replicate in your own home. You can build a stage in your home, but odds are that you won’t want to pay a jazz quartet to play in your basement every night. You might, however, have an extensive vinyl collection.

Dark colored unfinished or under finished wood is the key. You don’t want your mahogany to have so much polyurethane on it that there is a mirror finish. You want the grain of the wood to be the highlight. You want it to look aged. If you need to run a belt sander along the wood, that is one thing, but don’t go overboard. Mix and match different types of wood as well. Notice the way the lighter pine highlights the darkened shelves in the second picture. A dark brown leather is probably the best fabric for furniture that isn’t made entirely of wood. The accessories should be where you let the color really “splash”. Pick liquor bottles, artwork and plants with brighter colors to really finish capturing the attention of guests.

And as always, if you are in the Area, drop into MONO+MONO. Try the Dirty Soju martini with a Korean Fried chicken. You’ll thank me later.

And look out for more Bar Hopping Articles on Homes4Men every Thirsty Thursday.



116 East 4th Street

New York, NY, 10003


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